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Though this rather interesting concept dates back many centuries into our past, dating Asian women (or more specifically, the idea of dating an Asian women), has officially gone mainstream. Admittedly, I had to do a bit more research on this post than I did when I wrote '10 Myths About Dating An Asian Guy: Debunked' since a common thread links the two simply because of cultural ideas and misconceptions about Asian women as a whole. Interestingly enough, the opposite can be said about Asian women. They are readily pursued by a niche of men, both Asian and non-Asian who idolize the potential lifestyle that an Asian woman is stereotyped to bring to a relationship such as the traditional woman's role in the household (cooking, cleaning, taking care of children), a certain level of submissiveness as well as a number of other common cultural assumptions.
But as an Asian female who was born and raised by immigrant parents in America, it is clear to me that these traditional stereotypes are extremely outdated and are still being kept in our society today despite the changes we're making as the next generation. It makes it difficult to truly embrace the dating game when these myths and stereotypes are portrayed this way even in today's social media and pop culture. In response to this, here are ten common myths about Asian women and their truths based on my experience as one of them:
Myth #1: Asian girls are submissive and subservient.
False. In fact, if one took the time to get to know an Asian girl, chances are you will find that this is, in fact, quite the opposite. Asian women can be quite fiery and stubborn once they are comfortable around you, and they certainly aren't afraid to let you know exactly what they want. A great example of this is a documentary made in 2012 aptly called Seeking Asian Female where we meet Steven, an older Caucasian man in search of an Asian companion after he notices a pattern of subservient Vietnamese women as they are portrayed in the media. He eventually meets Sandy, a Chinese woman almost half his age from Anhui, China, who, while sweet and quiet during their dating phase, eventually allowed her innocent exterior to fall away to reveal her more emotional, controlling side well into marriage.
Myth #2: Asian girls are super smart and obsessed with school.
Depends. While the stereotype certainly leaves a high standard without the pre-approval phase requirement of the widely-stereotyped Tiger Mom, it is a standard that many Asian women are constantly frustrated by. Sure, it's not necessarily a bad thing to be stereotyped as smart, but what happens to the Asian girls who aren't naturally smart? Should Asian women simply ignore the fact that if they aren't academically capable enough, that they just might not be "Asian enough" either? What may appear innocent and complimentary on the outside is in fact boxing in an entire culture. It can be difficult to ignore that Asian women are regarded as smart only because we're Asian. We're smart because we want to be, dang nabbit!
Myth #3: Asian girls will only date you because you have a green card.
Depends. I say this with salt on my tongue because the fact of the matter is, Asian's aren't the only culture that does this. We just get the butt end of the stick on this green card issue because the Asian community is the most successful at making it happen. But love is love, and if an Asian girl says she loves you, it's best to assume they are innocent until proven guilty. (I'm not exactly sure how to bypass this one but just know that most Asian girls are generally pretty picky about the guys they choose to spend their time with.)
Myth #4: Asian girls only date older men.
False. While age can be a barrier in America when it comes to older men dating younger women and vice versa, the traditional reason why many Asian girls generally prefer older men stems from the fact that Asians would associate age with wisdom and experience, and this was often an important factor when Mom and Dad sent their daughters off to the matchmaker, Mulan-style. I've dated younger than myself (by two years, nothing too crazy), and I can say with certainty that while my parents were hesitant to accept him at first, they eventually got used to him and let go of any superstitions they had after getting to know him. Admittedly, that relationship didn't last and the men I chose after him have been significantly older than me... but that's besides the point!
Myth #5: Asian women have good family values and cater to the man.
True. While the traditional Chinese families often encouraged relationships in which wives looked up to their husbands in perfect harmony, the myth that Asian women make doting wives still persists today. Asian families are very community-oriented, and in some instances, men may arrange to move in with his Asian wife and her entire family, where everyone is cared for by everyone else. Grandma will still try to feed you like she is trying to feed your own son, and your mother-in-law will dote on you like you are her own ambitious, successful son you should be. Take it as a compliment, though, once your Asian in-laws get used to having you around, you'll be an honorary Asian yourself.
Myth #6: Asian girls will always look younger than they actually are.
True. I've had friends who have told me they are afraid to date some of the Asian friends I've recommended them to, simply because they didn't want to look like they were dating "too young." Sure, maybe one day when I'm 70 and past my prime my good genes will serve me well, but comments like, "you look like you're 13" will usually just makes most Asian women uncomfortable. I remember one particularly awkward conversation with a first date who insisted on guessing my real age for the first few minutes of our meeting and couldn't believe I was older than 18. Have some people just forgotten that women don't like being asked their age?!
Myth #7: Asian girls are all 5'3" or shorter.
False, on all counts! I, for one, am a proud 5'6" and in no way, shape or form does being Asian keep me from being tall all my life. While both my mom and my sister make this myth true (they are 5'2" and 5'3" respectively), I've seen beautiful Asian girls tower well over 6 feet! So, if you're looking for a tall Asian girl, just be patient. They do exist, they're just a bit on the rare side.
Myth #8: Asian girls all look the same.
False. (Obviously.) While I can understand how some folks can look at us Asian girls and see all the similarities, just know that our squinty eyes, long dark hair and petite frame doesn't make us related, twins, or even relatives, even if we have the same repetitive Asian last names. So get over yourselves.
Myth #9: Asian girls are all bad drivers.
...Would you like to see my driving record?
Myth #10: Asian girls are sex-crazy/better at sex than other cultures.
False. As much as I initially wanted to shy away from this topic, I felt that it needed to be discussed more thoroughly as this stereotype is a very big issue all on it's own. It is no secret that some people have a fetish for Asian women, and I certainly would not be surprised if "Asian" were a top 10 porn search category. But the truth is that this myth actually stems from a sad reality that many Asian women face, as these ideas come from Asia's long, struggling history with sex trafficking. A 2013 post in The Atlantic highlights China, Russia, and Uzbekistan as the worst offenders when it comes to human trafficking, where the Chinese cultural preference for male children encourages the trafficking of young women and prostitutes.
"Traffickers recruited girls and young women, often from rural areas of China, using a combination of fraudulent job offers, imposition of large travel fees, and threats of physical or financial harm, to obtain and maintain their service in prostitution."
If there is one thing to be taken away from this post, it is that the traditional stereotypes for Asian women has become a social norm due to deeper problems that are having a hard time turning themselves around on their own. Care about the Asian women in your life, and remind them whenever you can that it is OK to move beyond the stereotypes. As best said by Anna Akana of YouTube fame:
"Yellow fever is when the only prerequisite for me to become your potential partner is the color of my skin. That's cheap. That's offensive. You're an @$$hole. Go away."